10 Best Wood Lathes in 2019

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  • Table top mini wood lathe
  • Speed of 750 to 3200 RPM
  • Perfect for smaller objects
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  • Ten different speeds
  • Ranging from 600 to 2400 RPM
  • Heavy-duty precision ground cast iron bed
great value rating
  • Table top wood lathe
  • Speeds of 810 RPM to 3400 RPM
  • 14-inch turning capacity

Whether you are a professional carpenter or a novice DIY ‘expert,’ your workshop or garage space must contain a wood lathe, enabling you to turn wood and create beautiful wooden products.  Carrying out woodwork projects is not possible without the use of a wood lathe, enabling you to create professional and effortless finishes every time.

We have reviewed ten of the best wood lathes currently available on the market, helping you to decide which wood lathe is the perfect product for you.

Related: Best Bench Vises.

View the Best Wood Lathe, Below.

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1. WEN 3420T Mini Wood Lathe

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The WEN 3420T Mini Wood Lathe provides a table top power tool which offers a soft start variable speed motor which is capable of adjusting up to 3200 RPM from a base speed of 750 RPM.  This power tool is perfect for working on smaller objects such as chess pieces and enables the user to pay close attention to accurate and intricate details.  Features of the wood lathe include a 5-inch face plate to allow turning non-spindle projects, while two interchangeable tool rests and a tailstock taper provide adaptability and versatility.

A wide range of projects are suitable to use with this wood lathe, fitting pieces up to 8 inches wide and 12 inches long.  The WEN 3420T Mini Wood Lathe provides a weight of 43 pounds along with dimensions of 26 x 10 x 12 inches.

Why We Like It
  • Table top mini wood lathe
  • Speed of 750 to 3200 RPM
  • Perfect for smaller objects
  • 5-inch face plate
  • Two interchangeable tool rests
Type
Table top Mini Wood Lathe
Speed
750 RPM to 3200 RPM
Dimension
26 x 10 x 12 Inches
Our Verdict

The WEN 3420T Mini Wood Lathe is perfect for the craftsperson who likes to create smaller objects with a variable speed.

Editor Rating
premium choice rating

2. Grizzly G0462 Wood Lathe with Digital Readout

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The Grizzly G0462 Wood Lathe with Digital Readout offers ten different speeds, ranging from 600 to 2400 RPM.  A heavy-duty precision ground cast iron bed features, in addition, to cast iron legs to ensure that your projects receive stability and repel the majority of vibrations.

Features include two spindle and tailstock tapers, while the 2HP motor ensures that the wood lathe provides all of the power required for a vast array of projects.  The Grizzly G0462 Wood Lathe with Digital Readout weighs 354 pounds, and offers dimensions of 17.5 x 63.2 x 20 inches, providing a free-standing wood lathe to take pride of place within your workshop or garage.

Why We Like It
  • Ten different speeds
  • Ranging from 600 to 2400 RPM
  • Heavy-duty precision ground cast iron bed
  • 2HP motor
  • Free-standing wood lathe
Type
Free-standing Wood Lathe
Speed
600 RPM to 2400 RPM
Dimension
17.5 x 63.2 x 20 Inches
Our Verdict

The Grizzly G0462 Wood Lathe with Digital Readout provides a free-standing, heavy-duty wood lathe to meet all of your project needs.

Editor Rating
great value rating

3. Generic Wood Turning Lathe

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The Generic Wood Turning Lathe is a table top wood lathe which offers speeds from 810 RPM through to 3400 RPM.  A 14-inch turning capacity features to ensure versatility, while the power tool provides adaptable functions, allowing you to cut, knurl, sand, or drill into your choice of wood.

Furthermore, the finishing mode will ensure that every project you carry out provides a professional appearance and finish.  The Generic  Wood Turning Lathe features a gray color frame and offers a weight of 63 pounds in addition to dimensions of 60 x 15 x 9 inches.

Why We Like It
  • Table top wood lathe
  • Speeds of 810 RPM to 3400 RPM
  • 14-inch turning capacity
  • Multiple uses
  • Stylish gray frame
Type
Table top Wood Lathe
Speed
810 RPM to 3400 RPM
Dimension
60 x 15 x 9 Inches
Our Verdict

The Generic Wood Turning Lathe is a strong wood lathe for a variety of functions, enabling you to create a range of woodwork projects to a high standard.

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4. Jet JWL-1015 Wood Working Lathe

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The Jet JWL-1015 Wood Working Lathe is a powerful tool which enables the user to enjoy six different spindle speeds, allowing you to tailor the speed of your wood lathe to the needs of your wood project.  Spindle speeds vary from 500 RPM, to 840 RPM, to 1240 RPM, to 1800 RPM, to 2630 RPM, and finally 3975 RPM.

Furthermore, an integrated 24 position indexing features along with an effective tensioning system which provides more accessible access to the belts.  The Jet JWL-1015 Wood Working Lathe provides a weight of 77 pounds along with dimensions of 35 x 18.1 x 14.6 inches.

Why We Like It
  • Six different spindle speeds
  • From 500 RPM through to 3975 RPM
  • Integrated 24 position indexing
  • Effective tensioning system
  • Easier access to belts
Type
Table top Wood Lathe
Speed
500 RPM to 3975 RPM
Dimension
35 x 18.1 x 14.6 Inches
Our Verdict

The Jet JWL-1015 Wood Working Lathe is an excellent product for a regular wood lathe user, enabling you to tailor the spindle speed of the power tool to meet the needs of your project, as well as the skill level of the user.

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5. Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Lathe

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The Delta Industrial 46-460  Midi Lathe provides a table top wood lathe with 1725 RPM motor as well as an impressive 12 ½ inch swing capacity for every requirement of your favorite wood project.  Features of the wood lathe include a pulley which offers three different speed ranges, in addition to the ability to travel forwards and in reverse to provide the user with a superior finish to their product.

In addition, a patented belt-tensioning feature ensures that you can alter your speed quickly and effortlessly.  The Delta Industrial 46-460  Midi Lathe provides a weight of 97 pounds in addition to dimensions of 36 x 11 x 17.8 inches.

Why We Like It
  • 1725 RPM
  • 12 ½ inch swing capacity
  • Three different speed ranges
  • Patented belt-tensioning system
  • Superior finish
Type
Table top Wood Lathe
Speed
1725 RPM
Dimension
36 x 11 x 17.8 Inches
Our Verdict

The Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Lathe features patented belt-tensioning technology in order to alter your speed effortlessly and quickly, providing you with the latest features for your projects.

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6. SHOP FOX W1704 Benchtop Lathe

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The SHOP FOX W1704  Benchtop Lathe offers a varying speed capability of 700 RPM through to 3200 RPM, helping you to achieve superb finishes regardless of whether you use softwood or hardwood.  Features include a 12-inch distance between centers, in addition to an 8-inch swing over the bed.  The SHOP FOX W1704  Benchtop Lathe provides a weight of around 52 pounds, along with dimensions of 7.1 x 27.9 x 13.7 pounds, and utilizes a cast iron frame for stability and durability.

Why We Like It
  • Varying speed capability
  • 700 RPM to 3200 RPM
  • 12-inch distance between centers
  • 8-inch swing over the bed
  • Cast iron frame
Type
Table top Wood Lathe
Speed
700 RPM - 3200 RPM
Dimension
7.1 x 27.9 x 13.7 Inches
Our Verdict

The SHOP FOX W1704 Benchtop Lathe provides a wide range of speeds in order to meet the needs of every project.

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7. NOVA 46300 Comet II Mini Lathe

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The NOVA 46300 Comet II Mini Lathe provides the user with an impressive speed range of 250 RPM through to a superb 4000 RPM.  A 12-inch swing over the bed is provided, in addition to a measurement of 16.5 inches between the center.  In order to create a low, medium, and high-speed range, a three-step pulley dial features.

The NOVA 46300 Comet II Mini Lathe offers dimensions of 32.9 x 9 x 18 inches along with an approximate weight of 82.5 pounds and comes complete with a two-year warranty.

Why We Like It
  • Speed range of 250 RPM through to 4000 RPM
  • 12-inch swing over the bed
  • 16.5 inches between the center
  • Three-step pulley dial features
  • Two-year limited warranty
Type
Table top Wood Lathe
Speed
250 RPM to 4000 RPM
Dimension
32.9 x 9 x 18 Inches
Our Verdict

The NOVA 46300 Comet II Mini Lathe offers an impressive speed range, from 250 RPM to 4000 RPM, ensuring that every possible speed is available for every project.

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8. Grizzly Industrial G0844 Benchtop Wood Lathe

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The Grizzly Industrial G0844 Benchtop Wood Lathe offers a variable speed of between 300 - 3300 RPM, providing a weight of around 137 pounds.  Features include a 14-inch swing over the bed along with a 20-inch distance between centers, in addition to built-in carry handles on both ends, a rear cord wrap, and full cast iron frame construction.  The Grizzly Industrial G0844 Benchtop Wood Lathe provides dimensions of 41 ½ x 17 ½ x 18 inches

Why We Like It
  • Speeds of 300 - 3300 RPM
  • 14-inch swing over bed
  • 20-inch distance between centers
  • Built-in carry handles on both sides
  • Rear cord wrap
Type
Table top Wood Lathe
Speed
300 - 3300 RPM
Dimension
41 ½ x 17 ½ x 18 Inches
Our Verdict

The Grizzly Industrial G0844 Benchtop Wood Lathe provides effective speeds of up to 3300 RPM, in addition to considering smaller features such as a rear cord wrap and built-in carry handles located on both sides of the tool.

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9. Jet 719115 JWL-1221SP Step Pulley Wood Lathe

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The Jet 719115 JWL-1221SP Step Pulley Wood Lathe provides six different spindle speeds of 380 RPM, 940 RPM, 1400 RPM, 1810 RPM, 2550 RPM, 3975 RPM, ensuring that this wood lathe can provide the correct speed for every project need.  Offering a cast-iron frame construction, a 20.5-inch distance is offered between centers in addition to a 12 ½ inch swing over the bed.

Further features include 24 integrated indexing positions, in addition to smooth sliding and rugged tool support and a large 'Off' switch for increased safety.  The Jet 719115 JWL-1221SP Step Pulley Wood Lathe offers dimensions of 33 ⅗ x 11 x 17 7/10 inches and comes complete with a 5-year Jet Red Assurance Warranty.

 

Why We Like It
  • Six different spindle speeds
  • 380 RPM to 3975 RPM
  • Cast iron frame construction
  • Large 'Off' switch for increased safety
  • 5-year Jet Red Assurance Warranty
Type
Table top Wood Lathe
Speed
380 RPM to 3975 RPM
Dimension
35.8 x 14.6 x 21.2 Inches
Our Verdict

The Jet 719115 JWL-1221SP Step Pulley Wood Lathe comes complete with a 5-year Jet Red Assurance Warranty.

Editor Rating

10. PSI Woodworking KWL-1018 Turncrafter Commander

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The PSI Woodworking KWL-1018 Turncrafter Commander offers five different spindle speeds of 650 RPM, 1000 RPM, 1450 RPM, 2000 RPM, and 3000 RPM.  Providing a 10-inch swing over the bed and an 18-inch distance between centers, this wood lathe offers the user a sturdy and durable cast iron frame.

The PSI Woodworking KWL-1018 Turncrafter Commander weighs around 84 pounds and offers dimensions of 32 x 9 x 17 inches, providing an efficient work lamp so that you can work in all conditions.

Why We Like It
  • Five different spindle speeds
  • 650 RPM to 3000 RPM
  • 10-inch swing over bed
  • 18-inch distance between centers
  • Cast iron frame
Type
Table top Wood Lathe
Speed
650 RPM to 3000 RPM
Dimension
32 x 9 x 17 Inches
Our Verdict

Turncrafter Commander features a variety of speeds and ensures reliable usage. The PSI Woodworking KWL-1018

Editor Rating

Wood Lathe Buyer’s Guide

A wood lathe is an important tool for the craftsperson, enabling the user to turn wood in order to create magnificent creations, in addition to further features such as sanding, facing, deformation, and knurling.  In addition to a motor to make the wood lathe turn, your tool features two points called the headstock, and the tailstock.  The headstock is found on one side of the wood lathe, whereas the tailstock is located at the opposite end.

The base or frame of your wood lathe will probably be made out of cast iron in order to provide a durable and sturdy base on which to carry out your work tasks.  Across the base of your tool, you will find the ‘bed,’ a horizontal beam which reaches the full base of the lathe.  The bed reduces vibrations and adds stability to ensure that your work is always of the highest quality.

Budget

When considering purchasing your wood lathe, consider the budget which you can afford to spend on the tool. It is possible to spend as little as $200 on a wood lathe, however, higher-end wood lathes can cost closer to $1000, and even several thousand dollars.  If you are new to the tool, a lower-priced wood lathe may be the best option for you to gain some experience on, although for the professional who spends many hours per day using a wood lathe, a much more expensive tool would be of a benefit.

Type of Wood Lathe

If you have limited space available within your workshop or garage, then a table top wood lathe may be the perfect size for you.  If you are planning to use the wood lathe on an occasional basis, then a table top version will allow you to attain quick and easy storage.  However, for the professional craftsperson, a sturdy, heavy-duty, free-standing wood lathe may suit you best, allowing for numerous hours of continuous usage as well as being a durable product.

In addition, consider what types of projects you are hoping to carry-out with your new wood lathe, considering the thickness of the wood and the length of the wood, ensuring that you purchase the correct size wood lathe.  Furthermore, always consider the weight and dimensions of your tool, particularly if you are hoping to store away the wood lathe when it is not in use, or if you have a limited amount of space available.

Speed

Most wood lathes come complete with variable speeds, allowing you to adjust the speed of your wood lathe to suit the project and the needs of the material.  Spindle speed is measured in RPM, or revolutions per minute, and so the higher the number of RPM, the faster the wood lathe will work.  Some wood lathes work as slow as 250 RPM, and some wood lathes speed-up as fast as 6000 RPM.

Additional Features

Your wood lathe may come with a variety of additional features such as a work light or carry handles.  More specialist features include the swing over the bed, which shows you the maximum thickness of the stock you are able to turn without striking the bed.  Additionally, the distance between the center shows you the maximum length of stock, which can be turned while the wood lathe is turning.

Furthermore, consider where the power switch is located on your wood lathe, as a large and easily accessible power switch is a huge safety bonus which additionally makes your projects run much smoother, ensuring that if a safety breach was about to occur, the power can be immediately turned off.

An extra safety feature which you should look for when purchasing a wood lathe is the tool rest, reducing the chance of acquiring a workplace injury.  The tool rest should effectively lock into place, so there is minimal chance of taking a risk and suffering a possible danger.

Expert Tip

Before you purchase a wood lathe, conduct some research about the manufacturer such as discovering where the manufacturer’s nearest facility is located in relation to where you live.  A manufacturer’s facility may be able to easily repair your wood lathe if repairs are required, whereas finding yourself a long way away from such a facility may prove to be a costly and lengthy time without your wood lathe.

Maintenance is an important task for all tools, particularly the wood lathe, in particular, the drive belts which should be checked for wear and tear.

Did you know?

Lathes have existed for over 3000 years.  Ancient Egyptians used lathes in order to create other tools, and so the wood lathe was a very important tool, even then.  Two people had to work together in order to operate an Ancient Egyptian lathe, yet the principles of the lathe remains the same even today.